Monarchs skipper Sam Masters set to be fit to face Tigers

Sam Masters in action at Ipswich
Sam Masters in action at Ipswich
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Edinburgh Monarchs team boss Alex Harkess has no concerns over Sam Masters being fit to ride against Sheffield Tigers in Friday’s Championship clash at Armadale.

The Aussie skipper was withdrawn halfway through Monarchs’ meeting against Newcastle Diamonds on Sunday after falling heavily in the first heat trying to pass Newcastle rider Ashley Morris.

Harkess said: “Sam just felt a bit of pain when he was breathing because it put pressure on his ribs, but I have no concerns about him riding on Friday.”

Monarchs got a well deserved point despite going down 46-44 against the Diamonds at Brough Park and Harkess added: “In many ways it was awkward. You can look at the result harshly and I feel we could have won if we hadn’t given too many points away to Newcastle’s lower-end riders, which was disappointing.

“It was a difficult night for us. The track was very difficult to ride, if you didn’t make the start it was very difficult to pass.

“I’m not holding that against anybody, it was difficult, and it was just as difficult for Newcastle as it was for us. It was one of these nights and something more than a point would have been nice.

“We didn’t come away empty handed but you are sometimes critical in thinking we could have done better but that’s what a speedway match is all about – ifs buts and maybes.”

Monarchs’ star performer was Ricky Wells who displayed a welcome return to form with a whopping 16 points. “He was very good and he was a much happier man at the end of the night when he feels now he has sorted out his bike problems,” revealed Harkess. “And now he knows it was his bike and not him, and I think we’ll see Ricky return to the form he showed at the start of the season.”

The result puts Monarchs nine points clear of fifth-placed Redcar in the hunt for a play-off spot. Meanwhile, Monarchs’ washed out Championship fixture against Sheffield Tigers has been rearranged for Sunday August 20 with a 5pm start.